Deciding who is at-fault is all part of the circus in deciding whose auto insurance company will pay for an accident. In a rear-end collision, the vehicle making impact is typically deemed fully responsible. Yet, most claims are not so straight-forward. Once a loss is reported, both companies will need to conduct a full investigation.
How Are Investigations Handled?
Two separate investigations are made — even if both drivers have the same auto insurance provider. The drivers, passengers and witnesses will be interviewed. Investigators may visit the scene of the crash, review police accident reports and examine the damage done to both vehicles. More often than not, each driver is charged for “a percentage” of fault. The claims are then handled in accordance to state law.
How State Law Affects Auto Insurance Claims
In some cases, you may be deemed 70 percent responsible for an accident, but you may still collect the other 30 percent from the other person’s insurance. In other states, you may not recover damages from the other person’s carrier if you are more than 50 percent at fault. Some states (like Florida, New York, Utah and others) have no-fault insurance laws where everyone just pays for their own damages, regardless of who was at fault with the idea that this will bring down expenses due to litigation.
What To Do If You Get Into An Accident
If you get into an accident, be sure to follow proper protocol by exchanging contact information, taking photos of the vehicles, consulting witnesses, and filing a police report. You should then notify your auto insurance company right away. Once you get into an accident, your rate might go up, so be sure to shop around to find the best rate!